Jared Bernstein: Congress could pass relief package before Senate takes up impeachment

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Jared Bernstein, a top economic adviser to President Biden, said Thursday that he believes Congress can pass Mr. Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus package before the Senate takes up former President Trump’s impeachment.

That time frame would put lawmakers on a breakneck, virtually impossible pace. The package is still being negotiated and arguments in the impeachment trial could start Tuesday.

“You know, that kind of legislative train schedule is not the kind of thing I pay attention to, but my gut response is yes,” Mr. Bernstein said at a Washington Post event. “The costs of inaction are the reason for our urgency.”

Mr. Berstein had been asked if there was any chance of getting the relief package through the House and Senate in time to get it finished before the Senate takes up impeachment.

Host David Ignatius had offered that the impeachment trial was set to get started in “about a week.” 

By the end of the week, both the House and Senate are expected to have passed a budget resolution that will allow Democrats to pass parts of the package without winning any Republican support.

The White House has said they expect the Senate to hold the impeachment trial at the same time lawmakers work to confirm Mr. Biden’s nominees and shepherd his legislative agenda, notably the relief package.

The Senate is putting Mr. Trump on trial after the House impeached the former president, accusing him of inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

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